Chennai Super Kings speedster Matheesha Pathirana had the Wankhede crowd up on their feet as he struck with his first ball in the IPL. The hype around him had already been there courtesy of his unorthodox, slingy action similar to Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga; everyone was excited to see how’d go in the first major test of his career: IPL.
He lived up every inch to it as he dismissed Gujarat Titans’ opener Shubman Gill with a brilliant full-length ball that trapped the right-hander on his pad as he was unable to adjust to the pace and the action of the Sri Lankan.
Born in Kandy, the 19-year-old Matheesha Pathirana was roped in by the Super Kings as a replacement for the New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne.
Here are some lesser-known facts about Baby Malinga, Matheesha Pathirana:
Pathirana first made waves at the under-19 World Cup earlier this year in West Indies. He played four matches in the tournament where he was impressive with his pace, picking up 7 wickets at an average of 27.28 while returning a slightly expensive economy rate of 6.16. Just like Malinga, Pathirana is also known for his fast, accurate yorkers and he showcased that in the under-19 World Cup.
At the senior level, the youngster has played only one List A game and a couple of T20 matches for SLC Greys in the SLC Invitational T20 League last year, in which he’s picked 2 wickets.
Coming to his U-19 stats, he has played 36 matches and has taken 37 wickets at a terrific economy rate of 4.28 and Strike Rate of 34.51.
A funny incident happened involving Pathirana during the World Cup, when, in a match against India u-19, one of the deliveries from Pathirana was recorded at an unbelievable speed of 175 km/h, the image of which went viral then. However, clarifications were made and it was revealed that there was some technical issue with the speedometer.
He had gone unsold in the mega-auction, but now CSK have got him at his base price of INR 20 Lakh. In fact, Pathirana had been on CSK’s radar for a while: ahead of the 2021 season, CSK had got him as a reserve player and a net bowler. Pathirana joined his countryman mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana at CSK.